Internet of Things (IoT) technology can help enterprises in Africa and the Middle East to boost their businesses, improve customer relationships and even cut costs, according to a Nokia executive.
Dr Muneer Zuhdi, who must have a very large business card as his job title is (get ready…) Director of Solution Line Management in the Global Digital Economy Practice, Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), IoT offers "huge opportunities" to "reduce cost, generate new revenue opportunities and enhance customer experience."
More specifically, "IoT applications will define future cities and impact every aspect of people's lives," he claims in a media announcement from Nokia. "These applications aim to make cities smart, safe, and sustainable. The goal is to improve the quality of people's lives, enhance their safety from natural or man-made disasters, and maximise the efficiency of the utilisation of resources," he adds.
Nokia's Dr Muneer Zuhdi: "IoT applications will define future cities and impact every aspect of people's lives."
But such applications will only exist with up-front investment and, of course, Nokia is looking to sell the underlying technology that enables a digital, IoT-ready economy. The vendor's platform, dubbed IMPACT (Intelligent Management Platform for All Connected Things) and launched in mid-2016, even comes pre-loaded with a number of such applications and, according to the company, has been involved in a number of IoT projects in the region. (See Nokia Aims for Big IMPACT in Enterprise IoT.)
"Video analytics, for example, utilises an advanced machine learning algorithm for crowd and traffic management, which helps with public safety. Smart lighting and fleet management enhances the sustainability of natural and business or city resources. Finally, applications like smart parking achieve multiple goals in terms of making people work and live smarter by eliminating time waste, generating new revenues for businesses or cities, and reducing road congestions, pollution, and fuel waste," notes Dr Zuhdi. (See Nokia Enhances Its IMPACT IoT Platform .)
Nokia is further developing its IMPACT platform, which, it is worth noting, supports both the LoRA specifications, for unlicensed connectivity, and the NB-IoT (narrowband IoT) standard, for licensed connectivity. Later this year, plans to launch its Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING), which will "offer both connectivity and managed services to businesses while enabling service providers to offer IoT services under their own brand." (See Nokia WINGs It With Global IoT Move.)
Africa was the birthplace of Mobile Money and while it continues to rise in popularity, the industry is quickly evolving and launching more mobile-based financial services every day. In this Connecting Africa online event, local analysts and industry stakeholders will discuss how telcos are disrupting the financial services space and what the rise of Mobile Money 2.0 will look like for Africa.
From cash to mobile: heading towards a cashless society
Expanding MFS offerings beyond mobile money transfers
MNOs vs banks vs fintechs: an evolving competitive landscape
Unconnected and unbanked: fintech to improve financial inclusion
The rise of micro-loans and insurance through mobile platforms
Africa has the fastest growing population in the world and also the youngest, with 60% of Africans under the age of 25. It is clear that the next billion connected are going to be the mobile-only generation. This digital symposium will bring industry experts together to discuss Africa’s digital divide and how to get devices into the hands of young Africans and empower them to join the digital revolution.
Who’s Driving? The role of government & regulator, private tech companies, and public-private partnerships
Device affordability: are we reaching a tipping point?
Status check: Satellite vs Fiber and the enduring infrastructure gap
Exploring the wider societal and economic benefits of a connected, digitally literate continent